National Award

2021: National Research Council Sri Lanka Merit Award for Scientific Research
Saja received National Research Council Sri Lanka Merit Award for Scientific Research in 2021 for the publication in IJDRR in the year 2018. [Each year, a merit award is given for each of the second 100 papers published by Sri Lankan academics in journals with the highest SCImago Journal Ranking]

International Fellowships

2022-2023: Climate Action Champions Network (CACN) – South Asia Fellowship
The Climate Action Champions Network aims to harness the potential of the youth in the region by bringing together 100 individuals from the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, to discuss and deliberate about creating a climate action vision for South Asia and the Indo-Pacific. Saja was selected as an US Department of State Alumni among 100 leaders.
2020: Fellowship for World Risk and Adaptation Futures Academy, United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany
2019: Fellowship for ProSPER.Net 2019 Young Researchers’ School, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Japan
2018: Community Solutions Fellow, IREX, United States of America
Saja was selected as a Community Solutions fellow 2018 among the 92 young leaders from 67 countries around the world! He is among the two from Sri Lanka. The Community Solutions Program (CSP), sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented by IREX, is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working in Environmental Issues, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues. The 2018 Community Solutions Program fellows were placed with 84 U.S. organizations and agencies in 20 states and the District of Columbia to complete a meaningful, learning exchange program. The fellows were selected among 5300 applicants and only 1.7 % were selected from a very competitive global screen for future leaders.
2017: International Young Professional Fellow 

Saja has been named for International Young Professional Fellow 2017 Fellowship ‘Sharing2Change’ among the 9 fellows were chosen among over 150 applicants from all over the World. International Young Professionals Foundation 
2017 – to date: Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Young Scientist 
Saja has been selected as one of th Young Scientist of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Programme (IRDR) in 2017. IRDR is an international, multidisciplinary research initiative of ten years’ duration launched to address the major challenges of natural and human-induced environmental hazards. It aims to adopt an international, transdisciplinary and cross-hazard approach to conduct disaster risk reduction (DRR) research, and to reduce the impacts as well as losses induced by natural disasters. His research project for the Young Scientist program is developing an approach to develop risk-sensitive development plans to build resilient communities. He is among 31 IRDR young scientists in the 2nd batch of application around the world.
2017 – Global Fellow of Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS), Brown University, USA
2016 – to date: International Fellow – Humanitarian Innovation Initiative
Saja has been offered  membership in the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative’s International Fellows group. It is a diverse network of early-career scholars ad practitioners that have participated in Brown University’s International Advanced Research Institute (BIARI) on Humanitarian Response and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Through this fellowship program, HI² provides a platform for qualified BIARI alumni to collaborate on interdisciplinary research focusing on both the causes of, and solutions for, the most pressing global humanitarian challenges. HI² International Fellows are a cornerstone of the Initiative’s objective to create productive linkages between Brown University faculty, students, and the global humanitarian community.
2015: Fellowship for Summer Academy, Humanitarian Response and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Increasing Effectiveness and Accountability in the Age of Complex Emergencies, Brown University International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI)
2006: Recipient of Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP)

Grants (Research/Projects)


Training Seed Grant in collaboration with UCAN (Youth Creative Action Network) for “Developing an awareness training module on Humanitarian Essentials for Youth” supported by Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University, USA, 2018.
Research Seed Grant from Brown International Advance Research Institute (BIARI) Alumni fund for “assessing the effectiveness of health systems – case of Nepal post-earthquake in 2015“.
Research Seed Grant in collaboration with Brown University, USA and Boston University USA on “assessing the effectiveness of health systems – case of 2015 Kathmandu earthquake“, selected under R2HC (Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises) by Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRAH), UK, 2016.
Research Seed Grant in collaboration with COMSAT University, Pakistan for undertaking a research study on the “Effectiveness of Faith Based Organizations in disaster response – Case studies in Sri Lanka and Pakistan“, supported by Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University, USA, 2017.
Training Seed Grant in collaboration with Field Ready for “Developing a training module on “Managing Innovation – The future of humanitarian aid’  funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University, USA, 2019.
SPIN (Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Nepal) regional seed grant for the research on “Examining The Heat Stress Impact on the South Asian Vulnerable Urban Population – A System Thinking Approach” supported by IRDR-ICoE Taipei under the 2018 Advanced Institute – Heat Stress Sensors, Early Warning and Information Technology in collaboration with Academia Sinica, Taiwan and International Science Council Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Malaysia, Jan 2019.


Examining heat wave comfort level of students in Sri Lankan urban schools” under School Heat Health Pilot Project, (2019) supported by the consortium of Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), Janathakshan (GTE) Limited, SLYCAN Trust and Integrated Development Association (IDEA), formed to develop the Research and Communication Strategy for addressing the Climate Change issues in Sri Lanka, supervised by the Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.


Vasantham – Interview on disaster resilience

Vasantham – Interview on disaster resilience #2